Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Israel's Ruthless Agenda

Israel's Ruthless Agenda

by Stephen Lendman

State terrorism is official policy. So is institutionalized racism, persecution, apartheid worse than South Africa's, and colonization.

Israel's occupation is lawless. It's the longest by far in modern times. Military orders control virtually all aspects of Palestinians' lives.

They have no rights whatever. They're not wanted. They're considered subhuman. 

Efforts are made to eliminate them. Israel seeks total Judaization.

Its wars are cold, calculated premeditated aggression. They're high crimes against peace. They're slow-motion genocide. Palestinian self-defense is called "terrorism."

Operation Protective Edge was the latest example. It had nothing to do with Hamas rockets. It wasn't about protecting Israeli security.

It had everything to do with preventing Palestinian self-determination, maintaining occupation harshness, continuing Gaza's blockade, sabotaging Fatah/Hamas unity, stealing Palestinian resources, preventing diaspora Palestinians from returning, and maintaining Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital.

Torture is official Israeli policy. It persists despite international law prohibiting it all times under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.

On September 14, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights headlined "PCHR Follows up Detention Conditions of Palestinians Arrested by Israeli Forces in Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip," saying:

"The lawyers of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) have visited 4 Palestinian detainees in Ashkelon Prison who were arrested in the latest 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip."

They "confirmed that the prisoners were subjected to various forms of torture during their detention period, including beating and shackling between two chairs for long hours (Shabeh)."

"According to PCHR's documentation, Israeli forces arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians during the offensive on the Gaza Strip; 31 of whom were transferred to Israeli prisons."

All those arrested committed no crimes. It didn't matter. Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israel's gulag. It's one of the world's worst.

"Later, 4 of the aforementioned detainees were released while 27 remained in custody and were charged of being members of armed groups, except for one, Samir al-Najjar, who was charged of being an 'illegitimate combatant.' "

"…(M)embers of armed resistance groups are considered prisoners of war against whom no bills of indictment can be presented according to the international law."

"PCHR continues its efforts to pursue Israeli war criminals through international courts based on the principle of universal jurisdiction (UJ) to bring them before justice since torture is an international crime."

Under UJ, nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won't, can't, or hasn't for any reason." 

Israel used it to convict and execute Adolph Eichmann.

Britain used a Spanish court provisional warrant to apprehend Augusto Pinochet. It held him under house arrest for 18 months.

It set a precedent. It potentially makes other heads of state  vulnerable. So are top officials.

Pinochet's alleged ill health claim got him released. He returned home. He remained damaged and disgraced. 

From September 11, 1973 to March 11, 1981, tyranny was ruthless on his watch. He died in December 2006. He's not missed.

Article 7 of Nuremberg's Charter of the International Military Tribunal states:

"The official position of defendants, whether as Head of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment."

No one deserves immunity for high crimes against peace. They demand accountability.

No nation or individual is above the law. They're made to be enforced. They're inviolable.

Holding Israel and America accountable for high crimes too grave to ignore is long overdue.

In its 2013 State of Israel report, Amnesty International (AI) said:

"Israeli forces responsible for the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians (as well as) torture and other ill-treatment of detainees continued to evade accountability."

Periodic air strikes target Gaza. They're conducted for any reason or none at all. For ones Israel invents.

IDF commanders order "live ammunition to enforce the land and sea 'exclusion zones' inside Gaza's perimeter and territorial waters, killing at least six civilians and injuring others," said AI.

"The myriad restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the movement of Palestinians amounted to collective punishment of the population of Gaza and the West Bank, in violation of international law."

Gaza's blockade remains ongoing. It's lawless. It's suffocating. It has nothing to do with Israeli security.

Palestinians are arrested for bogus reasons. Many are held without charges or trial. 

Freedom of expression, movement and assembly are denied. So are peace, equity and justice. 

Israel gets away with mass murder with impunity and then some. Rogue states operate this way. 

Israel and America elevated lawlessness to a new level. Don't expect Western media to explain. Or what the Electronic Intifada (EI) reported on September 15.

It headlined "Leaked email reveals ADL advice to universities urging anti-Palestine crackdown." 

It was sent to UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi's office. It was meant for her and other senior university officials.

The Anti-Defamation League is notoriously bigoted. Hate-mongering is longstanding practice. So is disseminating pro-Israeli propaganda.

Smear campaigns target its critics. They're conducted under the fraudulent pretext of fighting anti-Semitism.

ADL claims to support human rights. Its hate-filled agenda violates them egregiously.  

Its leaked email warned about an "upcoming day of action for Palestinian rights," said EI.

It called for "extra security and 'discipline.' "

It targeted the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). It's an advocacy group. ADL lied making "thinly-veiled allegations of anti-Semitism," said EI.

ADL's email said in part:

"We write to you today to provide information and recommendations about how to respond to conflicts that may arise on your campus due to the recent conflict in Gaza."

“In the wake of the recent crisis, anti-Israel organizations are placing increasing pressure on academic institutions to engage in ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) activities." 

"Be aware of the discourse around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that takes place on your campus and the potential for escalation."

"Review student codes of conduct to ensure that activity which is detrimental to the free exchange of ideas is not allowed on campus."

AMP is called "the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training and education to students and Muslim community organizations around the country." 

It "advocates for a variety of BDS-related initiatives - all in an effort to isolate and demonize Israel and Jewish communal organizations."

Fact: AMP and Palestinian-led BDS supporters don't advocate targeting Jewish communal organizations, EI explained.

Fact: They want action against "institutions complicit with Israel's violations of Palestinian rights…"

Fact: They include academia, corporations, think tanks, numerous organizations and other biased institutions.

According to AMP chairman Hatem Bazian:

"The ADL has always been in the business of censoring Palestine’s narrative and promoting Israel and Zionism…"

It overstepped trying to "employ prior restraint on Palestinians' free speech."

Hate-mongering operates under its own rules. According to EI, expect "no let up (by Israeli lobbyists) to use all repressive means available to stigmatize…punish (and stifle) campus criticism of Israel's crimes."

On September 16, Mondoweiss headlined "US and Canada strengthen economic relationship with Israel following attack on Gaza," saying:

They consummated "a mutual customs agreement." It removes "screening barriers and tariffs." 

Washington and Canada support Israeli genocidal high crimes against peace. It's longstanding policy in both countries.

Canada is more pro-Israeli than America. During right-wing Prime Minister Stephen Harper's January visit to Israel, he praised its "great moral leadership."

Canada's special relationship is deep-rooted, he said. It's "nourished by shared values."

"(It's) reinforced at the highest levels of commerce and government as an outward expression of strongly held inner convictions."

It's the right thing to do, said Harper. He called enemies Israel invents "dark forces of the world."

He ignored Palestinian rights. He was silent about generations of occupation harshness, ruthless persecution and numerous other high crimes.

Post-Operation Protective Edge, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid and his Canadian counterpart Steven Blaney discussed their 2010 Authorized Economic Operator Program.

"We share the same moral values (and) threat(s), Lapid claimed. He lied naming "Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and now ISIS advancing from the east."

It bears repeating. Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. It does so to enforce occupation harshness. To steal all valued Judea and Samaria areas.

To deny Palestinians fundamental human and civil rights. To treat them like enemies of the state. To violate core international human rights laws in the process.

Lapid's comments focused more on Gaza than economics, said Mondoweiss. It quoted him saying:

"We must move to find a solution for Gaza based on a regional framework, through a regional summit which includes all the key partners including Canada." 

"For progress to be made we must ensure that rehabilitation occurs alongside demilitarization." 

"We are strengthened and encouraged by the support of our allies, and in particular with Canada which stands steadfast by our side."

Their "special relationship" ignores each other's high crimes. America and Israel operate the same way.

Rogue states replicate each other's worst practices. It's longstanding official Western policy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

War Winds Near Gale Force

War Winds Near Gale Force

by Stephen Lendman

Candidate Obama promised peace in our time. He pledged to "bring America's longest war to a responsible end." He lied saying:

"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do." 

"I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank."

Fighting continues. It rages out-of-control. Washington plans permanent occupation. Withdrawal is more fiction than fact.

Thousands of US troops will remain. They'll do so indefinitely. It's just a question of how many.

Obama ravaged Libya. Syria is his war. So is Iraq war III.

Permanent war is official US policy. Obama is the latest in a long line of US warrior presidents. He's a war criminal multiple times over.

He's waging war on humanity. He intends escalating things dangerously. He promised no US ground forces in Iraq.

He lied. Over 1,000 special forces were deployed. Hundreds more are coming. Brigades of US ground forces may follow.

Mission creep often follows initial forays. Another potential quagmire looms.

Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey said he'll recommend deploying US combat troops if ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State (IS) can't be defeated other ways.

"My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward," he said. "I believe that will prove true." 

"But if it fails to be true, and if there are threats to the United States, then I, of course, would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of US military ground forces."

Obama "told me…to come back to him on a case-by-case basis."

In other words, Obama's "no (US) boots on the ground" is another of his many Big Lies.

If Dempsey and other military commanders recommend them, expect invasion followed by full-scale war.

Expect potentially thousands of US troops deployed. Expect protracted fighting.

Expect Obama to begin bombing Syria. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel:

"Because (IS) operates freely across the Iraqi-Syrian border, and maintains a safe haven in Syria, our actions will not be restrained by a border in name only."

They'll "require a sustained effort over an extended period of time. It is a generational problem."

Post-9/11, Dick Cheney warned of permanent wars in our lifetime. Former CIA director James Woolsey said:

America "is engaged in World War IV, and it could continue for years."

"This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II..."

The Pentagon's 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) called it the "long war." It rages. It's permanent. It's against enemies America invents.

On September 21, 1992, GHW Bush told UN General Assembly members that multinational troops would become a New World Order army, saying:

"Nations should develop and train military units for possible UN peacekeeping operations." 

America's permanent war agenda wasn't explained. Nor was using "peacekeepers" as imperial occupiers. Coalitions of the willing came later.

Obama continues America's longstanding tradition. Wars are glorified in the name of peace.

The business of America is war. It's a national addiction. It's a longstanding obsession. Brute force is official policy.

One nation after another is ravaged. They're destroyed. They're plundered. They're transformed into dystopian wastelands. Their people are exploited. 

General Smedley Butler called war a "racket." His 1933 speech explained, saying:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as (a Marine). I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General." 

"And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. 

"…I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make for American oil interests in 1914." 

"I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in." 

"I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street."

"The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909 - 1912." 

"I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916." 

"In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket." 

"Looking back at it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints." 

"The best he could do was operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

Today America's global empire extends everywhere. Super-weapons Butler couldn't have imagined enforce it. 

Modern-day Butlers don't exist. Profiles in courage aren't a US attribute. 

On issues of war and peace, both parties march in lockstep. So do MSM scoundrels, academia, think tanks and other influential organizations.

They ignore rule of law principles. They're on the wrong side of history. They're mindless of potential catastrophic consequences.

Their ideological extremism makes the unthinkable possible. Things today are dire and then some. Potential global war looms. 

Preventing it matters most. Not as long as Obama remains unchecked. Not while he pursues open-ended conflict.

Not when permanent war remains official US policy. Not while one country after another is ravaged and destroyed.

Not when warriors run America. Not in the absence of mass public outrage.

Obama insists he's authorized to wage open-ended Middle East war. He lied.

No nation may intervene in the internal affairs of others. None may attack another except in self-defense. 

None may do so without Security Council authorization. None exits. Expect none forthcoming.

It doesn't matter. Obama intends making a bad situation worse. He threatens the entire region. 

World peace, security and stability hang by a thread. New World Order extremism threatens them.

Ukraine is a global flashpoint. It's the gravest geopolitical crisis since WW II. 

Sergey Lavrov accused US-led NATO of "pushing Kiev for a forcible solution" to ongoing conflict conditions.

Ukraine has a choice," he said. It can "to go on the path of peace and constructive dialogue in the society or slide into authoritarianism and nationalist radical dictatorship."

"This is up to Kiev and Ukrainian society to decide.” It depends on "substantial, open and inclusive dialogue involving representatives of all regions and all political forces as quickly as possible." 

It's "necessary to discuss the scope of issues concerning constitutional system, the future of the country in general where all nationalities, minorities and regions where human rights would be fully observed in all their variety would live comfortably and safely."

It's what Washington deplores. It's what it's going all-out to prevent. 

It's to assure unchallenged imperial control. It's to eliminate Russia as a military and geopolitical rival.

State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin was clear and unequivocal. Irresponsible US policy destabilizes Eurasia. He addressed his lower house colleagues, saying:

"We begin the autumn session amid serious deterioration of the international situation." 

"The long-awaited ceasefire regime in Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics suspended massive bloodshed." 

"But the crisis and confrontation in Ukraine continue. And chaos instigated in the very center of Europe did not cool down belligerent passions of those who had provoked them six months ago." 

"The recent NATO summit has just made the current situation worse." 

"We hear from different sources that the Kiev regime was promised deliveries of weapons and military hardware from some countries of this military bloc, and that is already fraught with outright interference in Ukrainian domestic affairs." 

"Speaking straightforwardly, (it's aiding and abetting) war crimes committed in the country."

"…(A)ll masks have…been cast away…(T)he moment of truth has come."

"…Citizens of many European countries (are) asking their authorities 'inconvenient' questions."

They know "blindly following Washington (rules turns sovereign) European powers" into vassal states.

"A cynical and irresponsible policy pursued by the United States brings the world on the brink of an essentially new Сold War." 

"Its upgraded version is turning into reality of the present day."

War is more than a racket. It's ideologically extreme. It's cold-blooded mass murder and destruction. 

It inflicts unconscionable suffering. It's the highest form of lawlessness.

It serves monied interests. It lets them use ill-gotten gains to make more of them. 

It makes the world safe for war-profiteers. It lets them gorge at the public trough.

According to Michael Parenti, it lets "the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people."

Nations are destroyed to save them. They're pillaged for profit. Populations become disenfranchised. 

Workers become serfs. Local cultures become mass-market consumer ones.

Agribusiness replaces local farming. Competitive industries are eliminated.  Foreign investment crowds out local capital. 

Dominance legitimizes capital's divine right. Plunder assures obscene profits. 

Capital accumulation demands more. Profiteering and dominance matter most.

Trillions of dollars are spent. Waste, fraud, abuse and the grandest of grand theft are standard practice. 

Homeland needs go begging. So do popular ones. Peace is a convenient illusion.

Wars without end rage. No end in sight looms. America's war on terror is state terror.

Howard Zinn once asked "(h)ow can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism?"

"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people." 

There's none able to suppress horrendous genocidal high crimes against peace.

Why most Americans don't challenge what harms them, they'll have to explain. They have a choice.

They can demand peace, equity and justice or potentially perish in a mushroom-shaped cloud. No in between appears likely.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Sergey Lavrov: World Class Peace Advocate

Sergey Lavrov: World Class Peace Advocate

by Stephen Lendman

He's that and much more. He's a world class diplomat. He shames his Western counterparts.

They're more secretaries of war than foreign affairs. They urge waging one after another.

Lavrov goes all-out for peace. He does so in all conflict zones. Wars settle nothing. They assure more conflicts.

Lavrov addressed his colleagues at the September 15 Paris International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq. He said in part:

"Russia consistently stands for the continued independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq." 

"We strongly support the advancement of inclusive political process with a view to ensuring accord among all the political groups and ethno-confessional groups in that country."

ISIL/ISIS, the Islamic State (IS) terrorists threaten Iraq's future. "They bring death and destruction to neighboring Syria…"

"(T)hey openly declare(d) their intention to" head the entire Middle East toward the abyss of religious wars.

They want their ways imposed on others. They tolerate no opposition.

They violate fundamental Islamic principles. They're polar opposite IS extremism.

They teach love, not hate. Peace, not violence. Charity, not selfishness. Tolerance, not terrorism.

Islam, Christianity and Judaism have common roots. Who'd know it in today's US-manipulated climate of hate, fear and belligerence.

Who'd understand when America wages war on Islam at home and abroad. Who'd imagine IS is a US creation.

Who'd think it trains, arms, funds and directs its fighters. Who'd guess they're used to topple independent governments.

Who'd suspect Western claims are propaganda. Truth is systematically buried. Big Lies repeat ad nauseam.

Managed news misinformation substitutes for telling people what they most need to know.

It's more than ever vital at the most perilous time in world history. When Obama declared war on humanity.

When potential East/West confrontation looms. When global war is possible. 

US-led Western policies risk it. Peace is sacrificed on the alter of America's rage for unchallenged dominance. For regime change to achieve it.

"(I)n this or that country," said Lavrov. Over three years ago, "Bashar al-Assad was hastily declared "illegitimate…"

Doing so facilitated war without mercy. It rages. No end in sight looms. 

Obama's open-ended regional war assures greater than ever mass slaughter and destruction.

He lied claiming IS his target in Syria. It's pretext for attacking Assad. For pursuing regime change.

He wants another US colony. He wants an Israeli rival removed. He wants Iran isolated. He wants its government replaced like Syria's.

He wants pro-Western stooge leadership replacing them. He wants unchallenged regional control.

He wants its resources exploited. He wants its people made virtual serfs.

Wherever America goes, mass slaughter, destruction and human misery follow.

Nations become cauldrons of violence. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine are the latest examples.

Lavrov fears greater turmoil if Washington bombs Syria.

"One cannot but feel concerned by publicly stated intentions to attack the ISIL positions in the Syria's territory without any interaction with the Syrian government," he said. 

"I would like to emphasize the point: the terrorist threat is too serious to be addressed from a position of ideological bias, and disrespect of international law." 

"Syria as well as Iran, are our natural allies in the fight against ISIL, and their participation would have enriched our work today." 

"Moral standards which underlie counter-terrorism efforts should not be eroded."

"The achievements of the 'Islamic State' and many other terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere would have been impossible without financial and material support from outside, including supply of weapons and purchase of oil from fields controlled by terrorists." 

He left little doubt about Washington's support without saying so.

"Shutting down all the channels of such support must become a matter of priority," he stressed.

Not as long as America backs IS and other terrorist groups against Syria. Not as long as regime change remains prioritized.

Not as long as America's permanent war agenda continues. Not as long as it rages against humanity.

Russia goes all out for peace and stability. It's "ready to participate in working out common steps to fight terrorism" responsibly, said Lavrov.

It's "threat is much more complicated than today's (US-led Western) agenda." It's "much broader geographically."

Root causes must be addressed. Not "symptoms of the rise of extremism," alone, Lavrov stressed.

Issues must be discussed honestly. Accurate analysis must substitute for Big Lies.

Agenda politics have no place in confronting terrorism. All nations should prioritize eliminating its scourge.

Lavrov hopes Paris participants will "contribute to mobilizing practical support for more concerted global counterterrorism efforts under the auspices of the United Nations."

It requires a giant leap of faith to believe it's possible. Not as long as Washington manipulates things. Not as long as it spurns peace. Not as long as it wages wars without end.

From the sidelines of the Paris conference, Lavrov commented further.

He stressed the importance of "suppressing (IS) militants…" Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra and likeminded groups "remain strong," he said.

They're "unit(ing) int the Islamic Front. We have suggested that the Security Council should launch preparations for a practical, deep and comprehensive analysis of the situation."

"We hope our voice will be heard." Fighting "terrorism requires a comprehensive approach…"

It's "essential" to consider all "aggravating factors without exception." They include identifying terrorist paymasters.

Failure to do so facilitates business as usual. It keeps the entire region on the boil. It endangers Eurasia.

Russia has much to contribute to confronting major threats responsibly, said Lavrov.

It "will b doing this in parallel with promoting a broader goal: the start of a comprehensive and deep analysis of all aspects of terrorist threats." 

"This should be done with firm reliance on the UN Charter. We should make full use of the UN's counterterrorism instruments that are already available."

It bears repeating. It requires a giant leap of faith to believe it's possible. 

Not as long as Washington controls things. Not as long as advancing its imperium matters most. 

Not as long as waging war on humanity persists. Not as long as nations able to intervene responsibly do nothing. 

Not as long as America knows it can rampage with impunity. 

Stopping this monster matters most. World peace depends on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kiev Grants Donbas Limited Special Status: Hold the Cheers

Kiev Grants Donbas Limited Special Status: Hold the Cheers

by Stephen Lendman

On September 10, Ukrainian oligarch president Petro Poroshenko said Donbas will remain part of Ukraine.

Federalization won't happen. Ukraine's territorial integrity won't be compromised.

At the same time, Donetsk People's Republic Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin said his region isn't "considering remaining part of Ukraine." He'll seek outright independence, he vowed.

On September 16, Press TV reported he rejected Kiev's special status offer. Few details followed.

On the same day, Itar Tass headlined "Donetsk might agree with some points of Ukraine's law on special status of Donbas," saying:

"The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) will consider and might even adopt some of the provisions of the recently passed Ukrainian law on the special status of Donbas," according to DPR's First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin.

It "may provide conditions for peaceful coexistence of the region with the rest of the country…"

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine's parliament passed legislation granting Donbas limited special status.

State-controlled Ukrainian News Agency reported it as follows:

"The Verkhovna Rada has set special status for some districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions for the period of three years…" 

"Respective draft law No. 5081 was registered by President Petro Poroshenko at the Verkhovna Rada on September 16."

"Under the document, bodies of local governments are allowed to create voluntary people's militia units to protect order on the territory of the said regions."

"…(L)ocal governments there are able to take measures on assistance in use of Russian and other languages in education, mass media organizations, judicial system, and other sectors of public life."

"…(T)he law envisions provision of state assistance to socioeconomic development of some districts via the introduction of special economic regime for rendering economic and investment activity aimed at restoration of industry, infrastructure, housing stock and creation of new jobs."

DPR officials will study the new law, said Purgin. He stopped short of endorsing it.

DPR Prime Minister Alexsandr Zakharchenko said:

"First let Poroshenko sign it. Let it be published and come into force. Then we'll translate it into Russian, read it and give an assessment."

It's a "framework law," he said. "We currently proceed from the stance that no political agreements with Ukraine are planned." 

"However, while studying the law we may take a notice of some of its provisions, which we might adopt and they would help us coexist with Ukraine, for instance, in social and cultural and economic spheres."

Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) Supreme Council Chairman Alexei Karyakin called the new law "a step in the right direction."

It's "in line with Minsk" protocol provisions. "We will analyze (it) and then answer if we agree to it or not."

LPR President Igor Plotnitsky said the new law "generally reflects the priorities we voiced at the September 1 negotiations." 

"That's why, even though a lot remains unclear, we may say that a peaceful solution has received its first chance of being implemented."

It permits local elections on December 7. Regional councils will be authorized to appoint local judges and prosecutors.

Russian language is allowed. According to Ukrainska Pravda, the law guaranteed it "in public and private life, the study and support of the Russian or any other language, its free development and equal status."

Economic aid was promised. So was Kiev's pledge to restore destroyed and damaged infrastructure.

Independent police forces may be established. Kiev promised amnesty for self-defense fighters contingent on them releasing all Ukrainian prisoners.

They must disarm. They must vacate government buildings within a month of the law's enactment.

Self-defense forces refuse to disarm. Doing so would be suicide. More on this below.

According to Koryakin, independence supporters gain legitimate international status.

Henceforth, "no one would be able to call (self-defense forces) 'terrorists.' "

At the same time, Poroshenko said Ukraine's sovereignty won't be compromised. Nor its territorial integrity.

Itar Tass said "the state would retain all principal attributes of power such as foreign policy and law."

Ceasefire is more fantasy than real. Sporadic fighting continues. Each side blames the other.

Kiev intends regrouping. Self-defense forces bested its military. It's battered. It's defeated.

It need time to replenish its ranks, rearm, regroup and resume its offensive.

Expect conflict to resume any time. Expect Washington to decide when, how and for what reason. 

Expect self-defense forces to be blamed for Kiev's aggression. Expect durable peace to remain a convenient illusion.

Washington didn't install putschist officials to abandon them. To accept less than unchallenged nationwide control.

To assure no democratic governance. To stop short of eliminating Southeast Ukrainian freedom fighters.

US-led NATO is supplying Ukraine with weapons. Its defense minister Valery Heletey lied claiming they're needed to "stop Putin."

They'll be used against Ukrainian citizens. They were for months from April through late August.

Conflict didn't end. It's suspended. I'll resume at Washington's discretion. Expect it. 

It's not a matter of if. It's when. It's what pretext will launch it.

It's to crush Southeastern Ukrainian democratic freedoms. It's to encroach closer to Russia's borders.

It's to assure unchallenged US control over its newest colony. It risks East/West confrontation in the process. It remains to be seen what follows.

Meanwhile, Kiev putschists enacted a lustration bill. It requires special scrutiny of “persons empowered to perform state or local self-government functions."

It bans deposed President Viktor Yanukovych allies from politics. It affects all members of his government, law enforcers, civil servants, and local officials, as well as others in power before Soviet Russia's dissolution.

It affects Poroshenko or should. In 1998, he entered politics. He won a parliamentary seat.

In 2000, he created a so-called independent Solidarity party.

In 2001, he joined Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine Bloc opposition faction. In 2002 parliamentary elections, it won the largest popular vote share.

Poroshenko won a seat. He headed parliament's budget committee. 

In 2001, he helped create Yanukovych's Party of Regions. He held various ministerial and parliamentary positions.

IN 2004, he bankrolled Orange Revolution plotters. In 2012/2013, he funded Kiev putschists. 

He's Washington's man in Kiev. He's exempt from newly enacted lustration. He'll remain so as long as he remembers who's boss.

Enacting lustration took three attempts. Two previous ones failed. Each time yes votes fell short, putschist parliamentary speaker Aleksandr Turchinov violated rules of procedure.

He ordered another vote. He urged legislators to "mobilize their supporters."

"Give them a phone call," he said. "(U)rge them into the conference hall. We shall not leave for home until the bill is adopted," he warned.

Fascist regimes operate this way. Ukraine is the epicenter of European fascist reemergence.

While voting continued, dozens of hooded Right Sector neo-Nazis, Volya and Avtomaidan supporters rampaged outside parliament.

They set hundreds of car tires ablaze. They shouted "Lustration!" They cheered when legislation passed. According to putschist MPs, it'll revive trust in government.

According to pro-democracy advocates, it means business as usual. It assures continued hardline fascist rule.

A Final Comment

On September 16, Kiev's parliament enacted the Ukraine/EU Association Agreement. Poroshenko signed it into law straightaway.

He said Ukraine “embarked on the European path and nobody will dare to shut the door to (its) EU membership…"

It links Ukraine to EU diktats. They're hugely exploitive. They're largely one-sided. 

They mandate mass layoffs, deregulation, deep social spending cuts, wage freezes or cuts, unrestricted free market access for EU corporations, corporate friendly tax cuts, marginalizing trade unionism, and harsh crackdowns on nonbelievers.

They require Ukraine to "adhere to Europe's 'military and security' policies." They're one-sidedly anti-Russian.

Russian expect Stephen Cohen believes today is "potentially the most dangerous American-Russian confrontation" since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

"The seemingly unthinkable is becoming imaginable," he said: "an actual war between NATO, led by the United States, and post-Soviet Russia."

Cold War 2.0 rages. It's worse than anything preceding it.

It's epicenter is in Ukraine. Sanctions exacerbate crisis conditions. Miscalculations and provocations may prove disastrous.

Cold War politics "may tempt the use of nuclear weapons." 
Doing so would be polar opposite the way mutually assured destruction (MAD) prevented the unthinkable.

Things are more perilous today because no effective opposition exists in Washington.

Obama, his top officials, Congress, the courts, MSM, academia, think tanks and general public either support the same agenda or don't oppose it.

Prominent US statesmen don't exist. No one in Washington who matters is on the right side of history.

One-sidedness defines US policy. Cohen can't recall anything earlier in his "long lifetime" when American policy failed so badly during "any comparable time of crisis."

Conditions today are dire and then some, he stressed. America seems headed inexorably toward war with Russia.

The unthinkable may become reality. Cohen's "most encouraging perspective" reminds that positive change often begins with heresy.

He quoted former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev once saying:

"Everything new in philosophy begins as heresy and in politics as the opinion of a minority."

Woodrow Wilson called "the most patriotic man (the one) who (sometimes) goes in the direction he thinks right even when he sees half of the world against him."

Washington profiles in courage don't exist. They're absent when most needed. 

Failure on behalf of America's political establishment makes the unthinkable more likely.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Dreaming War, Threatening Humanity

Dreaming War, Threatening Humanity

by Stephen Lendman

America is unique. No nation ever waged perpetual war throughout its entire history. It's done so at home and abroad.

It exterminated its native people. It treats its most disadvantaged with contempt. It wages war on humanity worldwide.

Permanent war is official US policy. Obama exceeds the worst of George Bush. He tramples on fundamental freedoms.

He heads a ruthless police state apparatus. Mass surveillance became institutionalized on his watch. 

Core constitutional and international law protections don't matter. Multiple direct and proxy wars rage.

Obama has more death and destruction in mind. Pretexts are invented to pursue the unthinkable.

The killing of UK citizen David Haines is the latest.

"We will work with the United Kingdom and a broad coalition of nations from the region and around the world to bring the perpetrators of this outrageous act to justice, and to degrade and destroy this threat to the people of our countries, the region and the world," said Obama.

He's using the killings of US journalist James Foley and Steven Sotloff as well Haines' to enlist public support for more war.

"We continue to face a terrorist threat," he said. The only ones are those America invents.

ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State (IS) is "unique," claims Obama. "If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond (the) region, including to the United States."

Big Lies reflect official US policy. They repeat with disturbing regularity. They do so on issues mattering most.

On Monday, Homeland Security officials issued a statement. It lied claiming "credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border" through Mexico.

During the 1980s Contra wars, Reagan claimed Nicaraguan Sandinistas threatened Texas.

He failed to get Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid to agree. He said if he did 70 million Mexicans would die laughing.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry claimed Islamic extremists planned entering America through Mexico.

Weeks earlier, Perry repeated the Big Lie, saying:

"(I)ndividuals from ISIS or other terrorist (groups) could be" entering America now. "I think it's a real possibility that they may have already" done so.

In late August, the right-wing Judicial Watch group claimed IS was active in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, saying:

"High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued." 

"Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat."

US intelligence officials lied. They claimed "radio talk and chatter indicating" an imminent border terrorist attack.

An unnamed "high-level source" said it's "coming very soon." According to Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton:

"President Obama or his administration should acknowledge this dire threat on the border."

FBI officials claim no knowledge of a planned attack. No evidence suggests one. 

Nonexistent threats are hyped. Fear-mongering is longstanding US policy. 

So are Big Lies. They facilitate America's imperial agenda.

Propaganda wars precede hot ones. Deception, managed news misinformation and Big Lies launch them.

America's killing machine is humanity's greatest threat. Presidents wage one war after another. They do so at their discretion. They do it extrajudicially.

Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors. He considers perpetual war against invented enemies Washington's divine right. He calls it "American leadership at its best."

He deplores rule of law principles. He trashes democratic values. Throughout his tenure, he waged war on freedom. He's done so at home and abroad.

He declared open-ended Middle East war. He acted in violation of core international and constitutional law.

On Monday, 26 nations met in Paris. They included rogue NATO members, Australia, Japan, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Gulf states.

John Kerry addressed them, saying:

"(E)verybody has (an) urgency to move on ISIL." He stopped short of predicting "everything automatically com(ing) together."

At the same time, he said "let me make it clear. There is much more to this than just a strike."

"We have the capacity and we have the people prepared to do it."

"We're not asking every country to play a military role." Many aren't willing to do so.

Others are reluctant. Few if any want war on Syria. 

Kerry claims "no doubt (about) the capability and the contributions (needed) to succeed."

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Polls show "most Americans…have little confidence (his) plan will succeed…" (H)is remarks didn't change their opinion" about him.

"The skepticism reflects the months of sagging public confidence in the president, particularly when it comes to foreign affairs."

On Monday, House Republicans unveiled an alternative to his request to arm anti-Assad fighters. It includes considerable congressional oversight.

Pentagon officials must inform Congress of plans to arm Syrian opposition groups at least 15 days in advance.

Follow-up reports are required every 90 days to determine if military strategy is working.

A provision states "nothing in this section shall be construed to constitute a specific statutory authorization for the introduction of US armed forces into hostilities or into situations wherein hostilities are clearly indicated by the circumstances."

According to Pew Research, American's support Obama's plan 53% to 29%. Another 19% are unsure.

At the same time, doubt accompanies support. Fewer than 20% believe military action will make America safer from so-called terrorist attacks.

About one-third said Obama's plan increases chances they'll occur. Around 70% believe it won't degrade or eliminate them.

Obama's September 10 declaration of war on IS failed to enlist popular support. About 53% of Americans said his speech made no difference.

Pew Research's poll shows his approval rating at about 40%.

On September 16, Fars News headlined "Paris Show: Fighting Terrorism by Arming Terrorists," saying:

The Paris security conference "looked more like a political spectacle…(It) was made all the more difficult when Iraqi President Fouad Massoum voiced regret over Iran's absence…"

It "snubbed the Paris show. (Iranian officials) see…Washington's decision to extend airstrikes into Syria 'a plot to achieve the long-treasured neocon goal of military presence and regime change in Damascus."

Conference participants "failed to recognize what it would really take to fight terrorism and/or change the political dynamics of sectarianism in both Iraq and Syria."

Iran recommends addressing regional issues diplomatically instead of forming a "Coalition of the Killing."

It urged international negotiations to resolve Syria's conflict politically.

It proposed embargoing arms to so-called anti-Assad " 'moderate' terrorist" groups, "including the medieval butchers of ISIL."

Paris participants ignored what's most important. They agreed to arm "imaginary (anti-Assad) 'moderate opposition rebels.' "

Tehran calls this policy madness. Most militants Washington supports "openly align themselves with ISIL…"

Claims that coalition of the willing members plan to arm " 'only the non-Islamist rebels' is utter nonsense…"

On September 15, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called US claims about fighting IS "baseless." They're "lies," he said.

America's Iraq ambassador tried arranging a meeting with Iran to discuss IS. Khamenei opposed it, saying:

"During the early days of ISIL attacks in Iraq, the US ambassador through a message to our envoy in Baghdad requested a meeting to discuss the ISIL." 

"Our ambassador in Iraq sent that request to Tehran. Some of our officials did not have any opposition to such meeting." 

"But I opposed it and told the officials that we would not cooperate with the Americans regarding ISIL, because their intentions and actions are ugly, and how could we, under those circumstances, cooperate with them."

"The US Secretary of State also had personally asked (Iranian Foreign Minister) Dr. Zarif that the two countries should cooperate on ISIL, but Dr. Zarif had rejected his request."

US officials "are now telling a lie that they did not invite Iran to the (anti-ISIL) coalition." 

"The truth is that Iran from the very beginning had announced its opposition to the coalition."

Iranian President Hassan Rohani stressed collective measures to fight terrorism.

At the same time, he called the US-led coalition "satirical." Member states support IS and other terrorist groups they claim to be fighting.

General Mohammad-Ali Jafari heads Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC). He believe's US-led military action against Syria will fail.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's policy is to support Syria and this US action is from a bullying position and is condemned and if it does so it will regret it," he said.

"We doubt (their) serious objective is to annihilate ISIL," he added.

Washington declared war on the same group it supports. Obama's objective is toppling the "current ruling government in Syria," Jafari stressed.

Washington and Israel created the IS monster. Jafari believes its aim to turn Muslims against each other. It's to sabotage anti-Zionist resistance. 

Washington, rogue NATO members, Israel, and regional partners support Takfiri terrorist groups.

It's part of Obama's war on humanity. He risks the unthinkable in the process. World peace hangs by a thread.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.